Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eating my way through Denver, Part 2

Day 3:

Oddly enough, I'd never had pho for breakfast before.  This was decent.  Of course, my mom and grandma's pho is far superior.  ;)  But there was a generous amount of meat and I could tell that there was no MSG in the broth. 
A tasty coconut boba drink.  I still don't like tapioca pearls though due to their texture.

Lunch at Noodles & Company (top to bottom: Japanese udon, tomato & basil soup, beef stroganoff, side salad)  If you have to eat fast food, this is up there with Panera in the "makes you feel like you're eating something healthy" department.  I enjoyed my udon very much.  There were too few noodles and too much meat and vegetables, which is not a bad thing.  :D  The tomato soup was creamy and not as tasty as Panera's but it was cold outside and it is one of my comfort foods.  
Eithiopian dinner at Queen of Sheba.  My friend and her sister had never had Eithiopian before.  It was so much fun to introduce them to it!  The beef in the forefront was the best.  I also enjoyed the collard green and potato/lentil dishes.  This was the meat combo for two (with an additional order of lamb tibs in the middle) and it easily fed the three of us.  The service was wonderful and we even got to chat with the chef/owner after our meal.  
Day 4:
Baked goods at Wholly Cannoli
I wasn't blown away by my cannoli ($3.50 + tax).  It was almost too sweet, very heavy, and definitely too big.  Their other offerings looked good though, and my friends enjoyed the raspberry twist and eclair.

We had lunch at Star of India.  Their lunch buffet only costs $8!  The chicken curry was moist and had a great flavor, while all the vegetarian dishes were savory.   However, I didn't relish the chicken tikka masala because the chicken was tough and the sauce was bland.  I don't remember being impressed by the tandoori chicken either.  The naan was soft but soggy with oil.  

Arash Grocery features foods from the Middle East, most of which I had never seen before.  It was so much fun!  I loved the rows and rows of pita, lavash, and barbari bread, as well as yogurt soda, bulk bags of nuts and spices, pistachio candies (which weren't good), poppy seed pastries (which are!) and lots of fresh vegetables.  My friend bought the chickpea cookies above.  They were very dense and chalky, but had a good flavor.
Continuing our international food tour, we visited Dah Won Rice Cake.  The owner was nice, although a bit difficult to understand   The rice cakes were very chewy and filled with red beans.  Not my favorite thing, but I'm glad that I tried it.
Next door to the rice cake shop is Paris Baguette, which I assumed to be French on first glance.  But I was very pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a Korean bakery.  I LOVE Korean bakeries, and have not been to one since I went to Dallas 3.5 years ago.  I wanted to buy one of everything in the store.  (And at $1 apiece, I guess I could've, but I'd spent too much money by this point...)

Last but not least, we visited a Mexican bakery, Panaderia Tlaquepaque.  I purchased an elephant ear, which was dry and tasteless, and a cinnamon pastry that needed to be reheated before being good.  I guess the latter was due to us visiting later in the afternoon.
Our loot---I actually didn't try the barbari bread until I returned home.  (It was dry, flat, and tasted like white bread.  Not a fan.)  The poppy seed pastry tasted like "a gigantic Fig Newton" in Mr. S.'s words.  I bought a red bean pastry and a cross between a cinnamon roll and a red bean roll at the Korean bakery.  Both were delicious.  My friend bought tahini and halva, but we didn't try either.  Her dulce le leche empanada was marvelous though- sweet, tender, and flaky- and enough to redeem the bakery in my eyes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eating my way through Denver, Part 1

Just going to combine some days of the trip, in order to not bore you TOO much.  Plus I have more projects in the works and I need to remember that I started this to document my own cooking adventures, not so much the eating ones.  Although they are fun and so much simpler.  :)

Day 1: Golden (This town smells like yeast thanks to the Coors plant.)

Spinach, mozzarella, and chicken crepes with a small salad for lunch at Grappa Mediterranean Bistro.  I found it peculiar that they only served these and several flavors of gelato (Nutella and tiramisu included) but these were light and flavorful. 
Bakery goods at Pandoro Bakery, which is run by a nice Italian couple.  I bought the chocolate croissant and the chocolate/nut cookie seen in the very far right corner of the last picture.  Both were delicious, particularly the croissant.  
Homemade chicken alfredo with basil sauce (not quite pesto, since it was without nuts, and made by yours truly)
Day 2: in which we visit a French bakery
Daniel's of Paris was sadly mostly bare when we visited.
I purchased the togelais, which as far as I can tell is Aurora's own creation.  It consists of a shortbread base, chocolate mousse covered with dark chocolate ganache and with a rim of shredded coconut.  I enjoyed this more  as the flavors of the layers complimented each other better. 
My friend's dessert, the chantal, chocolate cake with hazelnut mousse, and amaretto syrup covered with dark chocolate ganache. It was rich yet light, with no amaretto flavor to meOverall, a little pricey at $3.50 per small pastry, but well worth the price.
Homemade jambalaya, based off a Paula Deen recipe.  Yummy and very comforting on a cold day.  I also made cinnamon rolls that night, but they looked the same as always.

Days 3-5 to follow, as well as my Chicago food adventures!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Denver week placeholder

We've had crepes, pho for breakfast, noodles, Eithiopian food, and French pastries. Also homemade cinnamon rolls, pane siciliano, jambalaya and basil chicken alfredo. Along the way I've seen many pretty pastries, delicious looking loaves of bread, and local candies. It may take a week to cover what I've eaten in Denver/Aurora/Golden but I'll give it a shot. (and yes, I will someday cook food of my own again).